How to write a review of literature for a thesis

components of literature review pdf

If you need to keep going back to the work of that author, then you need to link those discussions with your work. Increasingly, examiners at post-graduate level are looking for the detail of how you chose which evidence you decided to refer to.

How to write a review of literature for a thesis

For a whole week I stared at my screen, scrolling up and down without adding any new information. The conscientious use of citations reflects your decisions to give greater emphasis to either the reported author or the reported message. Nevertheless, there are some essential steps that apply across all disciplines and that you should ensure you follow: Do not simply describe the opinions of writers Analyse, analyse, analyse, and ensure that your analysis is critical what have the writers missed; where does your opinion sit with theirs, etc. There may be specific guidance on structure within your department, or you may need to devise your own. Your transitions between ideas analyze, synthesize, and assess these outside perspectives, and do not simply summarize or translate them. Neutrality: Is the author's perspective even-handed or biased? Blaxter et al. These are questions that you will already probably be asking yourself. Divide outside works into categories and concepts in support or against a particular position.

Remember we noted that the process of grouping sources in the body of your literature review is never a linear one? Steps in the literature review process Preparation of a literature review may be divided into four steps: Define your subject and the scope of the review.

importance of literature review

Do not make baseless claims, as a literature review is an academic piece of writing and not an opinion piece. I would be more motivated to write it, and my colleagues could read through it without falling asleep.

Credibility: Which of the author's theses are convincing and why?

Literature review outline

Trawl online databases for useful dissertations and articles by using their abstracts to consider relevance, use all available university, college and departmental libraries, consult the web for extra resources, and follow footnotes. In some subject areas classic texts retain their authority for literally thousands of years; cutting edge scientific research will need to be more mindful of the dangers of consulting obsolete data. Often hand searching of journals will reveal ideas about focus, research questions, methods, techniques, or interpretations that had not occurred to you. Often, the literature review will end with a statement of the research question s. You can find the contact details for the Information Librarian for your own area via the Library web pages. It can happen accidentally, for example, if you are careless in your note-taking. In the body of your review, ensure that your arguments are presented clearly and that you link these arguments with the literature. What geographical area? Be very selective Not every piece of research has to be reviewed. My initial surge of adrenaline wore off as I envisioned myself hunched over my laptop for months writing a literature review. This can involve further review with perhaps a slightly different focus from that of your initial review. One of my first professors once told me that I should read two hundred articles for my first review.

In other instances, identifying the gap is an indication of good critical analysis and can score you extra points. It may also focus on historical considerations.

how to write a literature review for dummies

The citation tools attached to these programmes will also allow you to simply export citations in a format of your choice when required later.

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